Logo designs are continually evolving. There are two parts to the reason why, and both have a significant effect on future trends.
The first is that design trends, much like fashion, ebbs, and flows like a wave. What we may consider as cool and hip today might be old-fashioned tomorrow as new design styles gain popularity, while others become untrendy.
The second part is technology. It’s now advancing at a rapid rate, and audiences are changing the way they consume media. Plus, mobile phones became inseparable from their owners. To keep up with their audiences, companies had to shift their logos to fit the digital age.
This is just one example of how design trends evolve over time. Let’s take a look at some of the logo design trends we have seen over the last year and may continue in 2021.
A design trend that looks set to continue in 2021 is minimalist logo design. It allows companies freedom and flexibility to use their logo in the digital world as it stips a logo down to its base level.
Logos used to be big, bold and packed to the brim with colorful imagery. Today, lots of logos are sleek and straightforward, and we saw many companies rebrand their logos by simplifying them. They did this by removing extra design elements and creating flat surfaces, giving the logo a 2D look.
To better stand out from their competition, brands like Redmi and Instagram incorporate gradients into their logos. Using a wide range of different hues and saturations, brands can give their otherwise simple logo a huge visual boost.
Using gradients allows you to add charm and eye-catching detail to an otherwise bland logo design. The Redmi watermark logo by itself is not remarkable at all, but its unique color scheme makes it instantly recognizable and memorable.
Another popular design trend from 2020 and one which will most likely continue into 2021 is retro design. Nostalgia is a powerful tool. Creating a logo that’s a blast to the past allows brands to ignite powerful emotions in their audience.
Retro logos allow companies to tap into popular styles from 10-20 years ago that was socially significant. While a retro logo won’t be a good fit for all industries, it’s certainly popular among service companies, where positive emotions are vital to creating a brand image.
Negative space is the art of using the logo’s background to create another image of some kind. Not only does it allow plenty of breathing room between each design element, but it adds another layer of depth to the logo, which helps it to stand out.
With this extra depth, brands can place ‘hidden’ messages, such as the arrow in FedEx’s logo, the pin in Pinterest, the razor-sharp cut in Gillette’s logo, and the Golden Gate Bridge which sits atop Cisco’s logo, all of which add complexity and character to the brand.
Thanks to the advancement of technology; in many cases, logos are no longer static. As tech continues to advance in 2021, why shouldn’t we expect logos to become alive?
Adding motion brings a logo to life and makes it more engaging. This new motion also makes it much more likely to catch your eye and keep your attention for longer, increasing the chances of remembering the logo.
Dynamic logos already exist, but expect to see more of them next year.
Recently we’ve seen how numerous companies have embraced minimalism and simplified their logos. But it’s fast becoming dull and hard to differentiate between each brand’s logo when they’re all the same. There are only so many times you can see a sans-serif font logo with one color before losing interest.
A way for brands to keep their logo design unique while sticking to minimalist design and simplicity is to generate a unique font or change one letter of the logo. By doing so, the logo doesn’t fall into the trap of looking like its competitors but instead introduces a unique design element to set it apart.
Using icons, symbols, and shapes isn’t a new design trend. Big brands like Nike and Apple have used a simple icon as their brand logos for years. As we continue to head towards a mobile-oriented world, it’s more than likely that symbolic logos will again become a popular logo design trend as companies seek small, unique logo designs to represent them and their product.
Mix and Match
Most logos fall into more than one type of design trend, mixing different styles to create a logo made up of more than one element. Twitter, for example, has both a unique icon and a simple watermark logo, which it uses interchangeably. When a minimal amount of space is available, they use the bird icon. When more space is open, they’ll use their brand name and icon together.
Expect more companies to create logos made up of multiple elements and then use the most relevant one when depending on the situation.
Like Mitsubishi’s logo, geometric designs are made up of shapes, such as rectangles, diamonds, triangles, and circles. These logos look modern while still maintaining the perks of using minimalism. They’re elegant yet still able to capture the essence and beauty of the brand.
Geometric logos can also be used on small screens or big objects, making them a popular choice for brands in 2020 and 2021.
Design trends evolve over time. Keep your finger on the pulse of your audience’s behavior and the latest technology trends to ensure your logo is fit for purpose. Never think of your logo as a final design. Embrace change and be ready to update it when the timing is right, whether it’s for aesthetic reasons or for usability.